With something for everyone, give the gift of books this Christmas
Chichester’s award-winning publishing house Summersdale is renowned for its varied array of titles. From non-fiction and travel titles to ‘how to’ books and beautifully produced gift books, perfect as stocking fillers, this year’s crop includes:
Life Hacks: Handy Hints to Make Life Easier by Dan Marshall (hardback; £9.99). Spanning advice on DIY (such as how NOT to use your thumb as a hammer cushion) to preventing the uncontrollable bobbing of the straw in your drinks can, this is a fab book for a Secret Santa present. Clever, funny and original – buy a copy for yourself while you’re at it.
And for pet owners Summersdale has come up with a couple of corkers: Cat Selfies and Dog Selfies (hardback; £6.99). Cuter than cute and terrific value, enjoy the best photos of canines and felines who have taken the selfie craze into their own paws!
And if you have a teacher on your ‘To Buy For’ list then F in Spelling – the Funniest Test Paper Blunders by Richard Benson (paperback; £5.99) will certainly earn you an ‘A’ grade and will be much more welcome than the usual bath cubes or chocolate.
For details of all Summersdale books visit www.summersdale.com
For children this year’s selection is especially good. One of the best is Boycraft – Loads of things to make for and with boys (and girls)by Sara Duchars and Sarah Marks (Frances Lincoln; paperback; £12.99). Full of messy, fun and creative projects, with easy to follow instructions, try Water Bombs, Egg Eyeballs, Bug Hotels and many more.
Another top pick is Atlas of Adventures – A collection of natural wonders, exciting experiences and fun festivities from the four corners of the globe. Illustrated by Lucy Letherland (Wide Eyed Editions; hardback; £20) children aged 7+ will adore this huge book. Interactive, exciting and lavishly illustrated, readers can explore seven continent maps packed with hundreds of activities. From the penguins of Antarctica to dancing the samba in Brazil, this is a book for all the family.
Not a book exactly, but definitely doffing its hat at one of the most famous publications of all times, The Beano since 1938 - One Hundred Postcards in a Box (Frances Lincoln; £14.99) is ideal for little menaces and minxes. Since 1938 The Beano has celebrated the very best of British comic art and humour. It's a glorious, riotous celebration of children and childhood whose characters have it all. Mischief, mayhem, jokes and pranks are at the very core of The Beano's DNA led by its biggest stars, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx, Biffo the Bear and Roger the Dodger.
Spirit’s MD loves to get creative with cakes, so we’ll definitely be popping a copy of Cool Layer Cakes by Ceri Olofson (Apple Press; paperback; £12.99) under the tree for her. Taking layer cakes to new heights, with ideas from fashion and art, this is an easy-to-follow book that comes complete with fully illustrated step-by-step instructions. Wow factor guaranteed!
We all love comfort food and Jamie Oliver has come up with 100 recipes on the theme. Jamie’s Comfort Food The Ultimate Recipes - Treat the Ones You Love (Michael Joseph; hardback; £30) is a beaut. Split into chapter headings such as Nostalgia, Pick Me Ups and Guilty Pleasures, the stunning photography alone is worth the cover price. Well laid out, with lots of additional advice and tips to get the best out of the recipes, the rituals of cooking are also explored. Possibly his best ever, give this to a keen cook and you’ll earn major (chocolate) brownie points.
For fans of spooks and scares then Supernatural by Sarah Bartlett (Apple Press; hardback; £14.99) is a must-have. A comprehensive guide to exploring the Earth’s supernatural heritage and where to seek out a mystical, otherworldly, or spine-chilling experience, each entry provides an evocative insight into the mystery and story surrounding the site, why it is so fascinating, and what it is like to visit.
As for the music lover in your life, check out The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear – Unreleased Records by the World’s Greatest Musicians. Edited by Bruno MacDonald (Aurum Press; hardback; £20) this stupendous book untangles the twists of fate, the fights and the sheer bad luck that prevented these sonic gems from ever being pressed. Spanning more than half a century of music from all genres, these tales take in legends such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, cult heroes like Brian Eno and Frank Zappa, and contemporary artists, including Green Day and Dr Dre. Some of the records featured evolved into classic albums, while others became must-have bootlegs. Some endured a torturous journey to belated release, but many remain tantalisingly unreleased and unheard. Each ill-fated record is accompanied by an imagining of the cover that might have been. These original artworks have been brought to life by a team of acclaimed designers and illustrators. A guided tour of rock ’n’ roll’s great unmade marvels, and a must-read for all music lovers.
Battersea is back! Christmas at Battersea: True Stories of Miracles and Hope (Penguin; paperback; £6.99) will delight the animal lover on your list, as once again tales from the best-loved animal home in the country – if not the world – move you to tears and warm your heart. Royalties form book sales go to the home, so this is a gift that really does keep on giving.Finally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without laughter and who better to deliver on that front than Mrs Brown? Mrs Brown’s A-Y of Everything by Brendan O’Carroll (Michael Joseph; hardback; £18.99) is the new tie-in to the hugely popular TV comedy series. Agnes presents her own unique and hilarious take on modern life; from A-Y (who really needs ‘Z’ anyway?). From Abroad to Yoghurt, brace yourself for the philosophy of the Mammy of all Mammies.